NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Free Practice Questions for the OLSAT Test

Below are some free practice questions for the OLSAT test (Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test). These are just a few of the types of of questions your child will be presented on the OLSAT exam for entrance into the New York City Gifted and Talented Program.

What is the OLSAT test? The OLSAT (the Otis–Lennon School Ability Test) is designed to access your child’s performance across a wide variety of reasoning skill sets. It is an intelligence test that can be given in a group setting, so schools use it frequently to assess children for gifted and talented programs like the one in New York City.  This year, the OLSAT test score accounts for 2/3 of the grade for entrance into the program. For pre-K children the OLSAT test is most often given one-on-one.  For older children, it is administered in small groups with a test proctor.  The pictures on the test are black and white but it’s good to practice with color pictures to keep your child more engaged when preparing for the OLSAT test. You can get more free practice questions on Testing Mom.

The OLSAT assesses both Verbal and Nonverbal skills.  Here is how it breaks down:

  • OLSAT Verbal Comprehension – Following directions, antonyms, sentence arrangement, sentence completion
  • OLSAT Verbal Reasoning – Logical selection, verbal analogies, verbal classification, inference
  • OLSAT Pictorial Reasoning – Picture classification, picture analogies, picture series
  • OLSAT Figural Reasoning – Figural classification, figural analogies, figure series
  • OLSAT Quantitative Reasoning – (for Levels E – G  – grades 4th and above) Number series, numeric inference, number matrix

1) Do you see these 3 rows of boxes with designs inside? In the top row the designs go together in a certain way. In the second row, the designs go together in the same way as the designs in the top row. Now look at the bottom row. Do you see the empty box? Which one of the 4 designs goes with the bottom 2 designs the same way the designs in the top 2 rows go together?

2) Point to the clock that reads 4 hours earlier than 5 o’clock

3) Which of these is the widest?



Changes to the NYC Gifted and Talented Program

Earlier this week the New York City Department of Education announced changes to the NYC Gifted and Talented Program to take effect for this upcoming testing season and for students entering the NYC G&T program for next school year. Here’s the quick and dirty based upon a quick run through of the handbook:

  • The NNAT2 (Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test) will now account for 2/3 of the total score while the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test) will account for the other 1/3 of the score. In prior years, the OLSAT test accounted for 75% of the score while the BSRA-Bracken (no longer used) accounted for 25% of the score. This is a major shift in the testing criteria since the NNAT-2 test is much more difficult than both the BSRA and the OLSAT test. Just see for yourself with free sample questions on the TestingMom.com web site.
  • You’ll need to register by November 9, 2012 online.
  • There are DOE information sessions for parents, the first one in Brooklyn on October 22 and in Manhattan on October 24. Details below in my previous post from the other day.
  • The scoring will be much more precise and done by composite score from 200 to 900 points. Even if two children are in the 99th percentile the composite score would differentiate the two children. One could get an 860 and other 864 (both in the 99th percentile) but the 864 would have higher priority than the 860. Sorry to sound like our kids are numbers but I suppose that’s the only way to do this more precisely. Now the NYC snob parents can accurately compare their 99th percentile child to other 99th percentiles and make a judgement call from there.
  • The biggest change is there is no guarantee placement for kids going into Kindergarten and first grade if they make the 90th percentile cut-off.  In the past, if a parent ranked all schools available then they would get placement but this year that has changed.
  • Not sure if the NNAT2 test is going to be timed or not. The handbook didn’t indicate that it would be so who knows!


NYC Department of Education published the G&T handbooks

The NYC Department of Education published the Gifted and Talented Handbooks for 2012-2013 and below are registration and testing dates. As you may know by now, they are adding the NNAT2 test to take the place of the BSRA. The Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT) will account for two-thirds of the grade while the OLSAT test score will be the remaining one-third. Make sure you start practicing with questions from the Testing Mom site.

  • November 9, 2012: Deadline to submit Request for Gifted and Talented Testing forms. Stay tuned for the link to register your talented tot online!
  • October 15 – November 9, 2012:  Community Information Sessions Dates, times, and locations.
  • Monday, October 22, 2012 – Brooklyn,   M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, 300 Adelphi Street
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – Manhattan,  The High School of Fashion Industries, 225 West 24th Street
  • Thursday, October 25, 2012  – Staten Island,  P.S. 069 Daniel D. Tompkins, 144 Keating Place
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – Bronx,   P.S. 121 Throop, 2750 Throop Avenue
  • TBD –  Queens
  • January 7 – February 8, 2013:  Current K-2 Public School Students, G&T assessments administered at school sites
  • January 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27;  February 2 & 3, 2013: Current department Pre-K Students and Non-Public School Students, gifted and talented tests administered at school sites
  • April 2013 – Gifted and Talented Score reports and applications with available G&T programs communicated to eligible students
  • April 19, 2013 – G&T school applications due
  • Week of May 20, 2013 – Gifted and Talented Placement offers communicated to families
  • Week of June 3, 2013 – Deadline for families to accept or decline placement offers for their gifted and talented school for city-wide or district-wide schools.


NNAT test to account for two-thirds of score

Well, details are slowly emerging about the changes to the NYC gifted testing for this upcoming here. According to the Wall Street Journal:

“In a broader overhaul than previously announced, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, also known as the NNAT, will count for two-thirds of a student’s score, said city officials, who signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract with the testing company Pearson earlier this year. The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, or OLSAT, which increasing numbers of children had prepared for intensely, will drop to a third of the total from 75%.”

So, what does this mean? Well, with the NNAT test to account for two-thirds of score, I can tell you it means many less 99th percentiles than in previous years. Preparing for the NNAT-2 test is much more difficult than the test it replaced, the BSRA (Bracken School Readiness Assessment). We’ll see how parents respond once they get the full dose of what this change actually means to their child when faced with the questions that the NNAT2 test has to offer. Based upon sample questions from TestingMom.com I can tell you “this isn’t your brother’s Bracken!”. Many shattered dreams of G&T hopefuls will come to fruition as the NNAT and OLSAT test results come out in the spring of 2013.
Make sure you’re starting with preparing your talented tot with free questions from TestingMom.com.



Unrest at NEST Gifted and Talented Citywide School
October 4, 2012, 3:53 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

Well, according to a recent article in Gotham Schools there is much unrest at NEST gifted and talented citywide school located on the lower east-side of Manhattan.  I thought that Gotham Schools was a site that did fact base journalism but it seems they’ve decided to ride the wave of becoming the gossip rag for NYC schools. I’m not one to complain about trash-journalism since this is the kind of juicy stuff all parents (like me!) love to read – especially when it comes to one of the most high-demand public school G&T programs in New York City.  Here are the highlights of the article:

  • Principal Olga Livanis had not soothed relations with the staff after she surprised several of them with “unsatisfactory” ratings. My translation: A principal finally stands up for something other than the teachers unions and gives teachers failing evaluations which may or may not have been deserved.
  • Teachers “boycotted” Curriculum Night where parents come to hear all about what their children are expected to learn this year. Teachers demanded “overtime” to attend this session. My translation:  Teachers once again try to prove a point at the expense of the children and at the expense of parents who are highly engaged with their children’s education.
  • Parents are blaming the administration for all this chaos.

Of course, all of this is speculation on my part. I do find it very interesting that all the NEST+M Gifted and Talented dirty laundry is now being aired across all 5 boroughs. Unfortunately, the big losers in this situation are the students. We’ll see if demand decreases next year for this G&T program based upon the unrest at NEST, but I doubt it



NYC Department of Ed Announces Dates for Gifted and Talented Testing

Mark your calendars everyone. The NYC Department of Ed announces dates for the gifted and talented testing for 2012-2013!  The NYC G&T handbooks still haven’t been released but here’s the timeline:

  • November 9, 2012: Deadline to submit Request for Gifted and Talented Testing forms. Stay tuned for the link to register your talented tot online!
  • October 15 – November 9, 2012:  Community Information Sessions Dates, times, and locations. The exact locations have yet to be announced but historically these take place in all 5 boroughs over the 3 week period.
  • January 7 – February 8, 2013:  Current K-2 Public School Students, G&T assessments administered at school sites
  • January 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27;  February 2 & 3, 2013: Current department Pre-K Students and Non-Public School Students, gifted and talented tests administered at school sites
  • April 2013 – Gifted and Talented Score reports and applications with available G&T programs communicated to eligible students
  • April 19, 2013 – G&T school applications due
  • Week of May 20, 2013 – Gifted and Talented Placement offers communicated to families
  • Week of June 3, 2013 – Deadline for families to accept or decline placement offers for their gifted and talented school for city-wide or district-wide schools.